The first-ever International Conference on Progressive Culture (ICPC) concluded with a Declaration of Unity to form a movement of progressive artists, writers and cultural workers from all over the world.
More than 80 participants of the Conference with their paintbrushes, pens, guitars and other art instruments and equipment marched in the University of the Philippines in Diliman to mark the end of the three-day Conference which talked about artists’ rights and welfare, grassroots culture and people’s art.
In the Declaration of Unity, the participants coming from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Pakistan, Palestine, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Germany, Mexicoand the Philippines renewed their commitment to advancing the rights and welfare of the people in the midst of a deep economic crisis of the world capitalist system.
“We were driven by a desire to bring progressive artists, cultural workers and media practitioners together to discuss our role and place in the ongoing struggle for social, economic and political justice and true freedom…we believe that the artist’s place is in the struggle,”saidMalcolm Guy of the International Organizing Committee of the ICPC and General Secretary of the International League of Peoples’ Struggles (ILPS).
On the last day, New York Times reporter Caloi Conde, German publisher Mustafa Kilinc and Filipino-American youth leader Eric Tandoc gave the input on the role of media and new technologies.AnikSioui of the indigenous women drumming group Odaya, Mexican singer-composer Rosa Martha Zarate Macias and Negros-based cultural worker AlejandroDeoma led the discussion on people’s art and cultural work at the grassroots.
After several speeches, workshop discussions and group reports, the participants agreed to coordinate international actions and unite more artists and writers into progressive cultural work.
Most of the Conference participants will attend the forthcoming assembly of the International League of Peoples’ Struggles where they will draw up a general resolution and a plan of action, including organizing the next conference on progressive culture.#